Guide to completing a UK VAT return for businesses using the Flat Rate Scheme

By Tolley
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The following Value Added Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Guide to completing a UK VAT return for businesses using the Flat Rate Scheme
  • Background to the flat rate scheme
  • How to fill in a VAT return for the Flat Rate Scheme
  • Box 1: VAT due on sales and other outputs
  • Box 2: VAT due (but not paid) on acquisitions from other EU member states
  • Box 3: total VAT due
  • Box 4: VAT reclaimable on purchases
  • Box 5: VAT payable or reclaimable
  • Box 6: flat rate turnover for the period
  • Box 7: total purchases excluding VAT
  • Box 8: the total value of goods supplied to other EU member states
  • Box 9: the total value of goods acquired from other EU member states

Background to the flat rate scheme

The Flat Rate Scheme is designed to help small businesses by making it easier to record taxable sales and purchases. Businesses using the scheme normally apply a single percentage to their total flat rate turnover in a VAT period and the result is the VAT payable to HMRC. For more information, see the Overview of the VAT flat rate scheme for small businesses guidance note. Please see the Submitting online VAT returns guidance note for more information on submitting the return.

Notice 733 ; Notice 700/12 , para 4; De Voil Indirect Tax Service V2.199D (subscription sensitive)
How to fill in a VAT return for the Flat Rate Scheme

Filling in the return for the scheme is different from filling in a return using standard accounting, although some boxes are the same.

All of the boxes on the return must be completed. Do not leave any box blank.

There are different methods for electronic returns and paper returns if the business needs to include negative amounts and 'not applicable' boxes.

Online returns:

  • put a minus sign before the figure for negative amounts
  • enter '0.00' for 'none' or 'not applicable'

Paper returns:

  • put the figure in brackets ( ) for negative amounts
  • write 'NONE' where applicable
Box 1: VAT due on sales and other outputs

Businesses using the Flat Rate Scheme do not need to account for the VAT shown on every invoice issued. Instead, the business works out the flat rate turnover for the period covered by the VAT return (see information for Box 6 below

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